The ice worm, Mesenchytraeus solifugus, elevates adenylate levels at low physiological temperature

Michael J. Napolitano, Robert G. Nagele, Daniel H. Shain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ice worm, Mesenchytraeus solifugus, is among a few metazoan species that survive exclusively in glacier ice/snow. In this study, we demonstrate that ice worm adenylate levels [i.e. adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP), ADP and AMP] are maintained at levels well above their mesophilic counterparts, and that their response to temperature change is distinctly opposite, namely, ice worms increase energy levels as temperatures fall. Initially, this response is characterized by a sharp spike in [ATP] and the adenylate energy charge (even at sub-zero temperatures), which is followed by corresponding increases in [ADP] and [AMP] within a few days. These results suggest that ice worms have evolved a compensatory mechanism by which gains in adenylate nucleotides off-set, at least in part, the inherent lethargy and death usually associated with cold temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Volume137
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology

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